Dashing Demoiselles in Cove Brook

Yesterday at the Cove Brook Fun Day, Bobbie and I showed off pond dipped wildlife from the brook. One notable sighting was this nymph, which is rather on the large side for a damselfly larva. The three leaf-like caudal lamellae that emerge from it’s abdomen are used for respiration. They are also useful for identification, with the two paler bands on the outer lamellae making this a Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens).

Banded Demoiselle Nymph

The adults have iridescent blue or green bodies, with the males showing a distinctive ‘black thumb-print’ pattern on their wings. It’s great to find this nymph since both demoiselle species only breed in flowing water, so are rarely picked up in our pond dipping. Keep an eye out on the Cove Brook and River Blackwater.

Acting Senior Ranger Stuart

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About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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